West Coast Sound combined with Southern Rock the way it should be done.
Relix Magazine started out as The Grateful Dead fanzine and turned into a full-fledged rock music magazine that lives on even after Jerry Garcia and the original Dead were no more. The music cherished by Relix’ avid readers is anything that in some way relates to Dead’s jam grooves, through any West Coast sounds, psych or Doobie Brothers soul to Southern (guitar) Rock, particularly related to The Allman Brothers Band and Lynyrd Skynyrd.
In effect, the dream band of such fans would be the one that combines the music of the West Coast to Southern Rock, with all the psych, soul, prog tendencies that would include. Which brings us to The General Maynyrd Band and their self-titled debut album.
Anybody who thinks that they know what that Maynyrd in the band’s name is to correspond to is probably right - a thank you note to Lynyrd Skynyrd. The seven-piece San Francisco band are definitely trying to make that West Coast - Deep South connection with their music. The fact that it is not their first time around the block but that they are a group of seasoned musicians that played in a number of Frisco bands like Crooked Flower gives them a capability to achieve their goal.
Based on the evidence of their debut, they are quite close to achieving it. From the soulful grooves of “Talking To My Fish”, through the great slide guitar runs of “Catch a Pirogue” to the a cool-down ballad of “Trouble Is My Business” and proggy changes akin to the Allmans of “Glad To See You”, the GMB is able to do what some would call classic rock justice. It is all more or less there - excellent rhythm section ( Patrick Shields, Daniel Erik), good keyboard fills from Will Kyriazis, excellent three guitar run (Dan Ingberman, Drew Southern, Tom Reilling), and very fitting, soulful vocals from Dave Combs.
While the music is very tight and structured, it seems GMB, kept the jamming concept intact, since, as they explain, they came into the studio with finished songs which passed through a series of transformations before the final versions were done.
In any case, whatever they did, The General Maynyrd Band came with an excellent West Coast/South musical combination that classic rock fans should not miss.